When the Dallas Cowboys released receiver Dez Bryant last Friday he received calls, well wishes and social media endorsements/inducements from players across the NFL who respected his game and wanted him to join his team.
No one came harder than players from the Houston Texans. It become of particular note when Bryant started following a few Texans players on Instagram, including receiver DeAndre Hopkins, safety Tyrann Mathieu and quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Almost a week later and the Texans players have not backed down in their courtship of Bryant.
“I knew Dez on a personal level, and I think any time a guy goes through that, and obviously understands how much he puts into the game of football, you just want that person to feel like he’s wanted again,” Mathieu said to the Houston media on Wednesday. “That’s what we ultimately tried to do, that’s what I tried to do. I think I messaged him last night as well still trying to get him here.”
Hopkins is the No. 1 receiver in Houston. And the Texans have a clear No. 2 in Will Fuller.
Still, Hopkins grew up idolizing Bryant when he was in college and partly patterned his game after him.
Now he wants to play alongside of him in hopes of helping the Texans win.
“I love Dez, I looked up to Dez when I was in college,” Hopkins said. “When he was at Oklahoma State, I used to watch his highlights, because we’re kind of measured similarly. He’s a little bigger than me, but our body type is similar and our style of play,” Hopkins said. “I’ve always been a fan of his, so once I saw that the Cowboys dropped him, why not reach out to a guy that can still help a team win?”